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The link between hypertension and kidney disease ‘I should have taken more care managing my blood pressure’

NB This should be positioned as the lead in to the Rita Smith full article.

Hypertension/kidney disease link

High blood pressure can cause your kidneys to fail. It’s a message that many with hypertension don’t really understand. Had Rita Smith realised the risk, she would have managed her high blood pressure better.

Over a quarter of adults in Bermuda have hypertension. Body & Soul, in its commitment to helping build healthy people, has featured several articles on the topic.

This month, as we turn attention to the kidneys, Body & Soul features 66-year-old Ms Smith, who believes lack of attention to her high blood pressure caused her to experience kidney failure. She shared her story in the hope that it will motivate other hypertensives to properly manage their condition.

“I was on high blood pressure medication but I didn’t always adhere to taking it as I should have,” she said. “If I was out and the time came for me to take the medication, I wouldn’t rush home for it. I often just stayed out without it.”

She recalled one occasion when she was out bowling in Warwick. On the ride home to St George’s with a girlfriend she didn’t feel too well.

“She asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital, I said no, but she took me there anyway because she said St George’s was too far to go to learn she had to come back,” said Ms Smith.

It turns out her friend did the right thing Ms Smith’s blood pressure was so high that she was kept overnight.

“They didn’t release me until they were able to get my pressure down to normal,” she said.

Although she had been prescribed three medications, she only took two of them, she confessed.

“When I took all three pills I would feel lightheaded,” she said. “I didn’t like feeling lightheaded so I put myself on two pills and I felt fine.”

Suffering from high cholesterol, she had quadruple bypass surgery in 2009 but still didn’t properly manage her blood pressure. In December she experienced kidney failure when cholesterol build up in a renal artery caused a blockage.

“I know now that I should have taken more care with managing my blood pressure,” she said. “I hadn’t realised it could result in CKD chronic kidney disease.”

Untreated hypertension can also lead to stroke and heart disease.

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Published March 20, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 20, 2012 at 9:04 am)

The link between hypertension and kidney disease ‘I should have taken more care managing my blood pressure’

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